Hill Country State Natural Area

36.00 Miles
3point5stars (3.55)13
3stars (3.00)
3point5stars (3.64)
More Info
Another View Of The Trail
This is a typical view of the trail. (Photo by Lone_Star)
View Of The Trail
This is a typical view of the trail. (Photo by Lone_Star)
Entrance Sign
This is the sign to the Natural Area. (Photo by Lone_Star)
View from 2a
Looking toward West Peak (5b) from end of 2a (Creek Bottom) (Photo by ddrewa)
Trail heading down 4a
Trail heading down 4a (Cougar Canyon Overlook) (Photo by ddrewa)
Wildflowers in October
Wildflowers in October (Damianita and ??) (Photo by ddrewa)
Wildflowers in October
Wildflowers in October (Photo by ddrewa)
View heading down 5b
View heading down 5b (West Peak) (Photo by ddrewa)
View from 5b
View from rim/top of 5b (West Peak) (Photo by ddrewa)
View heading up 5b
View heading up 5b (West Peak) (Photo by ddrewa)
Beautiful views (Photo by jmitchell)
Log Entries
Happy New Year - More Trails To Hike! :-)
By Lone_Star on 1/1/2014
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 12 minutes

My friend and I hiked a couple of looping trails in the Hill Country State Natural Area.  We were both hungover pretty bad from an awesome New Year's Party that my hiking friends from San Antonio threw the night before, so we got a really late start.  In addition, my friend was still having stomach pains, so we took it easy.

The signage was pretty good, but there are a lot of informal trails and at some points I was unsure if I was on the official trail or not.  The trails we hiked were OK, but not spectacular.  It was just a place to walk around.

We camped at the primitive camping area along the creek in the evening.  The camping spots were very nice under a canopy of large oak trees.  It was brisk at night, so we lit a fire to stay warm.  After sunset, some curious coyotes circled our campsite and came within 30 feet of us.  Their eyes eerily reflected the light from our headlamps.  My friend got a little anxious, but I told him they were just looking for food so we stored our food in my bear can and didn't have any problems.

Our plan was to do some additional hiking the next couple of day and I was looking forward to getting some mileage in, but due to my friend's illness we decided to return to Houston the next morning.

P.S.  Be advised that they do not sell fire wood at the Hill Country SNA.  If you plan to light a camp fire, get your fire wood in town on the way there.

Several Trails in North-West Section
By ddrewa on 10/9/2010
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 8.70 Miles Duration: 5 hours, 30 minutes

5b is the best overall overlook (several actually) and is very accessible (a short 1.5 mile round trip hike via 6 from the parking area).

4b offers a few scenic overlooks with unending views toward the horizon.

Not that impressed with 4a.

Trails 3, 4, and 5 are fairly rocky. A lot of sun with some intermittent shade. 2a is much shadier and wooded, although the creek was dry during our hike.

By Barney on 9/24/2009
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: N/A

Only a short drive from Hondo. This park is a hidden gem. The staff are really nice and helpful. I haven't been hiking in several years, so, wanting to get back in shape and do something I love, hiking was the natural choice. I chose hike # 5A, Saddleback, which is about a mile and a half. The moderately difficult climb rewarded me at the halfway point, with a grand view of our beautiful hill country! This park has lots to offer judging by the map provided at the headquarters. I also plan to do some camping there as well. Thank you Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Challanging hike
By jmitchell on 9/23/2007
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour

Beautiful Scenery, great solitude

We will return
By kcameron on 7/25/2006
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: N/A
We parked at the Equestrian Camping Area and combined a series of trails to get a bit longer loop. We began on Trail 1. After about a mile or so, we took Trail 6, then Trail 6A, and finally Trail 7 before reconnecting with Trail 1 at the west side of the park. These trails were scenic and presented no challenges. However, we then took trail 1B which circles to the west of Ice Cream Hill then climbs to a gap just north of the hill. The climb up was not out of the ordinary. However, the descent straight down was challenging because of all the loose rock. At our ages, my wife and I go slowly. The views were great, but the country is so very dry now. We did not see another sole during our entire hike.
We hiked this area during a geocaching excursion
By mda_taz on 11/12/2005
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 15.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Next time we might ride some horses.

Hikes for all fitness levels
By Enyawd on 10/18/2005
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 40.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Over the last 6 months I have taken clients out here 2 to 5 times a week and walked all the trails numerous times. All my people have enjoyed it, from the very deconditioned to the avid hiker, it has something to offer everyone.
Hiked all the trails
By Enyawd on 4/18/2005
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 40.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Over the past few months I have had the chance to hike all the trails here. The nice thing about this little used park is you can find a trail for what ever your fitness level or how much time you have to hike. There are 30 minute strolls on flat ground along the creek or steep to gradual inclines. With 40 miles of trails you can spend as much time as you like by piecing various hikes together.
Nice scenery with a lot of trail choices
By reson46 on 4/16/2005
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Dogs are allowed and the fee is now $5. There is a wide range of trails here, from very flat and easy two track roads to steep climbs through large rocks. We only hiked a small section but I'm sure we'll be back to do more.
By kscha on 10/20/2003
Rating: N/A Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: N/A

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